View Full Version : Where have all the rivers gone?

04-19-2007, 05:33 PM

Howard still won't do anything pro active about GW though.


04-19-2007, 05:42 PM
Carbon free energy, pity the power will be used to run a uranium mine.


Bruce Hooke
04-19-2007, 06:08 PM
Yikes. The drought sounds like it has gotten VERY serious. After 6 years of drought one starts to wonder if there will be an end or if this is the new weather pattern (as a result of global warming?).

One bit of information I came across recently that I was not aware of is that most of the standard methods of generating electricity use a good bit of water (often for cooling). So, a water shortage can also mean an electricity shortage.


04-19-2007, 06:57 PM

The Bigfella
04-19-2007, 06:57 PM
The Nymboida looked to have plenty when I crossed it a couple of times on Monday. I almost stopped to have a swim it looked so nice.

I hope they don't dam it

Phillip Allen
04-19-2007, 07:36 PM
"Where have all the rivers gone?"

California needs them to drive its economy...emanate domain manifested here...

04-19-2007, 07:39 PM
I read they discovered a town that was purposely flooded in Oz due to the drought.

04-19-2007, 08:06 PM
Here in SE Georgia we now have about 1/2 of our average rainfall to date. This at least the second year in a row. There are several forest fires burning right now.

04-19-2007, 11:21 PM
There were a couple of towns that went under water during the biulding of the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme.

The Bigfella
04-20-2007, 12:21 AM
There were a couple of towns that went under water during the biulding of the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme.

I recall going through one of the deserted towns just before it was flooded

04-20-2007, 12:29 AM
I saw on the news a couple of weeks ago, locals were ratting the area for souvenirs.
Bigfella, bit off topic did you see John Clark and Brian Dawe last night doing a skit on Rudd? It was hilarious.

The Bigfella
04-20-2007, 02:58 AM
I heard it - fabulous wasn't it.

04-20-2007, 05:31 AM
Laughed my ass off too.

Those two are the T.V. highlight of my week. Love em.

04-20-2007, 05:37 AM
Damn I really miss those fellas.

04-20-2007, 05:44 AM
Bugga ...missed it :(. They are brilliant !

04-20-2007, 05:46 AM
Sounds like we're looking at $10 cabbages and citrus at the same .

04-20-2007, 05:50 AM
If we need any stinkin' rivers....we'll just buy a couple from China.
Works for everything else.

Wild Dingo
04-20-2007, 06:27 AM
Seems that the legends in control have decided that theyre shutting the gate on water to the farms over there... fruit and vegie producers will get cut of first then other producers milk meat etc very shortly thereafter... sad state of affairs over in the east for sure

Now for the extra special news... it seems we in West Aussie will again be sending our stuff over there so yous mob can buy it at inflated prices while we pay exhorbitant prices for the same... just like we did in the nana fiasco after Cyclone Larry... seems ours are doing alright so far... but given that we will be trucking the stuff over to yous mob I have no dramas you gotta eat I guess :rolleyes: :D

see??? what do I continually tells you mob?? eh?? YEAH we West Aussies carry yous mob! :mad: strewth ;)

Sooo Im guessing given that tommyattas have risen from $2.00 a kilo a week ago to $4.60 a kilo this week its gonna get way up around $10 per kilo within the month cucumbers have gone from 50c each for burpless to $1.39 each in the same time frame... same for milk a 1 litre of milk rode at around $2.80 litre but in the last week its increased to $3.50 a litre in the same period steak is now up to $15.00 and more a kilo!! fish I dont bother looking at after the last time I saw dory fillets at $21per kilo and geraldton crays for $29.90 each!!!... and Ive not yet looked at fruit!! last I saw a week ago a kilo of grapes were riding on $3.70 and gala apples $5.50 Ive closed my eyes when Ive walked through this week I JUST DONT WANT TO KNOW!!! :eek:

I see a great influx of the "wonderously" fantasticly good for us all imported fruit and veg coming from god alone knows where grown under who knows what conditions and heaven knows what pollutants in it... which of course we will pay the same prices for as the home grown stuff :rolleyes:

But then theres the interesting comments lately that some are promoting a "tax" on fruit and vegies to support the farmers and growers... controlled by either the dipsticks in Canberra or self controlled by the wonderously honest Big W and Coles supermarkets... like theyre gonna give a centablo to the farmers and producers :D :D :D :D but seems theyre seriously considering it :eek:

S.V. Airlie
04-20-2007, 06:31 AM
All one has to do is look at the seven, I think seven, states fighting over water rights to the Colorado. And also the plans the Gov. of CA. is trying to implement for water storage in CA to know the creek is gonna be dry.

04-20-2007, 06:34 AM
We could always send over some nice Kiwi apples if you're feeling peckish.:D
Now for the really bad news.As the price of grain goes up so will the price of beer.:eek:

Wild Dingo
04-20-2007, 09:23 AM
We could always send over some nice Kiwi apples if you're feeling peckish.:D
Now for the really bad news.As the price of grain goes up so will the price of beer.:eek:

The apples would be okay... but if you dont mind... go wash yer flamin mouth out boyoh!!

Beer will not rise in price
Beer will not rise in price
Beer will not rise in price

Keep going until you have no doubt that beer will not rise in price... then go buy a home brew kit or three like Im going to!! :D Thats after I spend the day tomorrow sorting a bit of land out for to till an make into a major vegie patch and start to plantin!! :o

The Bigfella
04-20-2007, 09:49 AM
We could always send over some nice Kiwi apples if you're feeling peckish.:D

You've already sent the fireblight ahead!

I've been up late watching the cricket, but its getting a bit boring.

04-20-2007, 10:12 AM
Beer will not rise in price
Beer will not rise in price
Beer will not rise in price

all you gotta do is grab one of your girls pair of little slippers and try that again, remember to click your heels:D

04-20-2007, 06:33 PM
And now an abrupt swerve back to the serious side of this

This year as much water as possible will be held in the Murray.This is to meet townwater requirements.
So,what's going to happen in South Australia?

04-20-2007, 10:53 PM
I've posted this once before but it seems appropriate:


"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
As it had done for years.

"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke;
"Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
"It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

"The crops are done; ye'll have your work
To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o'-Bourke
They're singin' out for rain.

"They're singin' out for rain," he said,
"And all the tanks are dry."
The congregation scratched its head,
And gazed around the sky.

"There won't be grass, in any case,
Enough to feed an ass;
There's not a blade on Casey's place
As I came down to Mass."

"If rain don't come this month," said Dan,
And cleared his throat to speak -
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If rain don't come this week."

A heavy silence seemed to steal
On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed a piece of bark.

"We want an inch of rain, we do,"
O'Neil observed at last;
But Croke "maintained" we wanted two
To put the danger past.

"If we don't get three inches, man,
Or four to break this drought,
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

In God's good time down came the rain;
And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
Way out to Back-o'-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If this rain doesn't stop."

And stop it did, in God's good time;
And spring came in to fold
A mantle o'er the hills sublime
Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
Nid-nodding o'er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey's place
Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed his piece of bark.

"There'll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
There will, without a doubt;
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, 1921

04-20-2007, 10:56 PM
Does anybody actually known what Howard is planning to spend the 10 billion dollars on?
From what I understand the states have not even seen the legislation Howard is asking them to agree to.

04-21-2007, 12:58 AM
Yeah, it is very hard to actually find any hard information on the plan.
The States have complained about this, and it is even worse for the public. I have friends who are trying to research this topic at the moment and it is very hard. Not only this, as far as I know the plan itself is far from finalized.
From the people I have talked to (a couple of months ago when I was up on the Murray in the Barmah Choke learning about it) they were of the opinion that most of the money is to be spent modernizing irrigation channels and the like- basically infrastructure work.
The whole aim appears to be maximizing the efficiency of agricultural use, channels/irrigation etc, so less water is wasted on delivery, and thus more can be grown.
Environmental flows are last on the priority list, and if they increase then, in relation to the plan, it will be more of a side effect.

Some of the people I heard talk were involved with this (http://www.npansw.org.au/web/conservation/western/redgum/index.htm) organization (the river red gum project), and various other mainly NGO's.

With the Barmah-Millewa forest (and the Choke) the "Kakadu of the south" in relation to the plan there was three proposals that are on the table, the most worrying of such (that is favored by the government) is for the majority of the Murray flow to be diverted south in a to-be-built-channel to bypass the choke and its (Ramsar convention protected) wetlands, before rejoining one of the tributaries, and then flowing back into the Murray 'pipeline'. It is after all such a pointless waste to use our agricultural water on the last remaining healthy River Red Gum forests and wetlands in the world.:rolleyes:

The local experts I heard lecture raised an interesting point (opinion). That, for the amount of extra water that this $10bil plan is going to deliver through infrastructure modernization- they could achieve just as much water gain by spending 1/10 of this simply buying back some of the over-allocated water rights. Problem is (ITO) that spending a large fortune on modernizing is a lot more politically profitable than spending a small fortune buying back the mistakes from the past.

this is the area we were in, but it looks just a little dryer at the moment:rolleyes:
This is in the flood times, hasn't been this way for a long time.
this is the Barmah-Millewa forest.

The Bigfella
04-21-2007, 03:15 AM
IIRC $3 billion is for buying back water licences

04-21-2007, 04:03 AM
as I said it was their opinion.
I suppose what they might have meant was that the actual water gains from improving the infrastructure, bang for buck, are close to ten times better spent simply buying back water rights.
They were obviously aware of the buy back allocation within the $10 bill, as you state.
Either way it was their opinion. They were no fools. But I haven't seen the figures, or any detailed plan.

Anyway, VEAC is currently deciding whether the Barmah-Millewa is going to be granted National Park status. It is looking good (for the forest). Hopefully this is going to happen, then we can stop the logging in there (for firewood and railway sleepers) and get the cows out. (then it also offers up a strong possibility- that Bracks has gone out of his way to say he is 'interested in'- for Victoria's first jointly managed national park- with the Yorta Yorta Nation- but thats another issue).

btw, the Murray was actually really healthy and flowing up there. Because of the Choke (a narrowing of the river cause by a geological fault) and the large amount of water being 'delivered' through it, some of the River Reds up there are actually suffering from too much water. Well sort of. Just as they don't get the floods anymore they don't get the dry- and the lack of the dry is beginning to cause problems.

It all gets pretty complicated when we try to convert a living river connecting ecosystems from the alps to the ocean, into a resource delivery pipeline. Reversed flows and all.

I hope we get this thing figured out properly, for the long term, and stop trying to cater the solution and timing into the needs of election cycles.

The Bigfella
04-21-2007, 07:18 AM
I hope we get this thing figured out properly

I doubt it, unfortunately.

04-21-2007, 04:07 PM
So,what's going to happen in South Australia?

40 days of water supply left in Adelaide's reservoirs

Adelaide's water comes from the River Murray and the Mt Lofty Ranges catchment, which is rapidly drying up.

The scenario is now so serious the South Australian Government is considering building a weir near Wellington at the lower reaches of the River Murray to ensure that Adelaide has enough water for domestic supply.

This is why we had to do the contingency planning for a weir.

Now, we still think that there's less than a five per cent chance of it needed to be built, but you have to put in the planning. That's why we've committed ourselves to the biggest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere, the second biggest in the world, and we're even looking at the feasibility of a second one. That's why we've looked at upgrading water restrictions.

OK - politician's promise - you read it HERE! Lets wait'n see.

Dont like the idea for the weir.

all from http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s1903154.htm

04-22-2007, 11:51 PM
The money spent buying back 'water rights' may not produce any result at all except enrich the 'dry water traders' at present in the market. You buy 'right' to theoretical water in a river that's been dry for years an flog it to the Govt at a profit. No extra water except in a year with so much that there is no need to own it. The NSW govt has been selling dry water in such a river recently, bet it finds it's way into Fed govt hands at a tidy profit to the investment Co that bought it! Farmers on irrigation blocks are being encouraged to sell their theoretical entitlement to investment Co's by banks, which makes their blocks worthless. It smacks odf panic rather than national planning and the Vic Govt is right to be skeptical as Vic is the only state that does not overallocate water and, in theory at least, still has a surplus from last years round.

The Bigfella
04-22-2007, 11:59 PM
If the way that successive governments (from both sides) have "managed" this resource is used as an indicator of government competence / incompetence - why do people still fight for government ownership of assets - eg the recent Telstra issue?

04-23-2007, 12:07 AM
I think the arguement with Telstra was that it was the nations network anyway, not any Governments to sell. It can be argued similarly with water, but it's lack of it that is the problem. If there was plenty there'd be no market. Not to say that our water costs are too cheap anyhow, doubling would hardly be noticed but I'd be rather cynical as to where the cash would end up!

04-23-2007, 12:35 AM
If the way that successive governments (from both sides) have "managed" this resource is used as an indicator of government competence / incompetence - why do people still fight for government ownership of assets - eg the recent Telstra issue?

This is the first article to pop up when I Googled 'telstra share values' :D

And I quote:"Mr Burgess, right-hand man to American-born Telstra boss Sol Trujillo, says the share price could fall below $3 and he wouldn't recommend the shares to his mother."

Back to the rivers.
Look on the bright side.This has got to be the closest that the three state governments and the federal government have come to an agreement on water management.It's only a matter of time.Right?

The Bigfella
04-23-2007, 01:21 AM
Hopefully its only a short time until we can get rid of eight of our nine governments. This is just another example of how stupid it is to have so many "governments" in the one country.

04-23-2007, 01:44 AM
I'd be happier with that bigfella if I thought parliment could work, rather than 1 jumped-up local member, leader of his party in govt, acting like some fuedal emperor with all the other sychophants licking his boots like mad. Keating was much the same. If parlimentarians don't have some measure of independence then we end up with an elected dictatorship. Sounds familiar somehow.

04-23-2007, 01:45 AM
Hopefully its only a short time until we can get rid of eight of our nine governments. This is just another example of how stupid it is to have so many "governments" in the one country.
Only a short time?!?!?
:eek: What do you know that we don't?.:D
Bit of a worry really I've been saying there's too many parliaments in Oz for a long time.You just don't need three tiers of government in a country of 20 million.It's expensive and it spreads your talent a bit thin.
So we concur?
You may wish to reconsider your position.:p

04-23-2007, 02:53 AM
The present conservative federal govt, unable to win a state, is trying to assume the powers but not the costs of those states. I wonder, with a Labor federal govt, if they'd be so enthusiastic?

The Bigfella
04-23-2007, 04:29 AM
The present conservative federal govt, unable to win a state, is trying to assume the powers but not the costs of those states. I wonder, with a Labor federal govt, if they'd be so enthusiastic?

I was under the impression that the majority of state funding (ie their costs) was provided by the federal government

Wild Wassa
04-29-2007, 01:58 AM
I read they discovered a town that was purposely flooded in Oz due to the drought.

The submurged buildings in the town of Old Adaminaby have been uncovered for a while. The lake is not too far from the Australian Capital Territory. Here are some pics from my last trip to the snow gum country where I discovered a yacht. The lake can be seen in the distance.


The yacht is well over a kilometre and 1/2 from the waters edge now. Lakes with wildly fluctuating water levels are not the place for keel boats as this owner had found. This yacht has been beached for a few years.


The water level of Lake Eucumbene that flooded the old town is down from the visible high water marks by over 40m's. That is a lot of lost water ... it is an eerie place to visit. The top of a mature windbreak is poking up through the water in the photo below.


Eucumbene was a large man made lake with long arms. The locals told me during my last visit, that the lake is drying up faster than they have seen happen before.


The earth and stone dam wall was constructed during the 1950s as part of the Snowy Mountains hydro electricity scheme and the water levels normally fluctuate ... but not as badly they are at the moment. Eucumbeyne was a great lake for sail touring but now it is just mud flats giving little access to beach and camping.


The boat ramps and floating jetties are several hundred metres from the water's edge. Launching is done from the old highway, the old main street, which is now the only launching ramp.


There isn't much to find in the thick mud. The only artefacts to find by fossickers would be bottles and bricks and the odd metal object ...


Some of the old buildings. There are many bricks.


The steps and a small column are all that is left to describe the old church.



04-29-2007, 07:10 PM
Thanks Warren for the great photos.

Wild Wassa
04-30-2007, 06:09 PM
Thankyou WX, it is good to show rainforest people how desperate it is here.

More photos from Eucumbene.


The area of Lake Burley Griffin, here in the ACT would fit within each of the individual arms of Lake Eucumbene once, but no longer. In Yen's Bay, Eucumbene, the scars of the past levels are well seen ... I stood to take this photo where boats were once launched. It's ironic to see rain falling in the photo below, but it is falling in the Jagungal catchment and will end up in the Geehi River, missing this lake.


Rivers and lakes in this region, like the Snowy the Murrumbidgee, the Goodradigbee, the Molonglo, the Shoalhaven the upper reaches of the Deua and Lake George are only shaddows of their former water levels and flows ... their depths are only measured in centremetres now ... if they are flowing at all in their middle reaches.

The Goodradigbee River ... there were times while bush walking, I'd not been able to cross this river. Nowadays you have to search to find deep water.


When I was a kid the Snowy River was 100m wide in the middle reaches. It had big sandy beaches and the banks were practically weed free. Now the middle reaches of the Snowy (photo below) only flow thanks to Jacobs River stopping it from being a series of unlinked stagnant pools.

The weed choked banks of the Snowy River near the confluence of Jacobs River.


It isn't like the catchments of the Australian Alps are small areas ... but still little to no flow happens when the rain fall is so low. To quote the BOM, "No usefull rain has fallen in the Canberra Region since 1994."

The mountain Yankee Hat and the catchment of Hospital Creek (photo taken 2 days ago, all of these photos have been taken over the last few months) ... if the definition of a creek is, "a seasonal water course," what is an intermittent to non existent seasonal water course called? The feeder streams here in the mountains are just as dry as the major rivers.


I suppose we can't expect more from living on the continent that has less than half of one percent of the world's fresh water ... that's when the dams are full.


04-30-2007, 06:30 PM
Warren, it's green here, but that's only because we are getting the odd shower of rain that keeps it green. The creeks are barely running (ours isn't) and the rivers are starting to choke with salvinia.
Sales of water tanks are hitting an all time high and there is a six month waiting list to get one.

Wild Wassa
05-08-2007, 05:24 PM
WX, I was talking to a forester Ian Gordon, about this thread and asked him about how things are here in the rivers and dams. I've also given him the address to your thread. He was saying that in this region the amount of water flowing into the four dams Corin, Bendora, Googong and Cotter is only 20% of the usage and the capacity is less than 30%.

It doesn't hold much hope for the short term in our region.

Likewise here, the pastures are green from the small amounts of rain, giving the wrong impression ... but it isnt more than that, green.


05-08-2007, 07:14 PM
Warren we just had 24 hours of very light rain, once again enough to keep it green but that's all. There is zero runoff and the creek is down to one or two small waterholes.
I can look out the window and see big fluffy dirty white cumulus but nothing falls from them.
The friends I went sailing with over the weekend limit themselves to 4 minute showers.
I'm hoping for a wet winter, which is not usual for this area.
I might add that while cutting bamboo I noticed the dry weather hasn't affected the leech population, the little buggars are everywhere.

Bob Cleek
05-08-2007, 07:22 PM
Gee, I never noticed it before, but Judy Garland really needs to shave her legs!

05-08-2007, 07:31 PM
You really need to lay off those drugs Bob...or move to Kansas.

The Bigfella
05-21-2007, 07:42 PM
The drought has moved out of the country and into the major cities. 20-30 years ago, no one in government envisaged this shortage, so there was no forward planning

Gee - just who was in power then Warren.

Now - when someone does something - its just buying votes.

The Bigfella
05-21-2007, 07:53 PM
So, 20 - 30 years ago, there was no forward planning by Hawke and Keating - now, when Howard does something about it, it's just buying votes. Amazing logic!

I've done a bit of work in this and related areas (when not advising the armed forces on various matters) and Warren is right about the vegetation. The landscape in his neck of the woods is significantly dried out due to agricultural practices and the chains of ponds are rapidly disappearing.

Recent discussion with an expert in the field tells me that things still aren't being done right

Wild Wassa
05-21-2007, 08:14 PM
North Americans don't realise that Australia only has less than half a percent of the world's fresh water ... while North America has over 60% of the world's fresh water. Little water is something that the Seps just can't relate to WX. What North Americans perhaps don't realize is that the rivers and dam that I have mentioned and photographed are our major rivers and largest dam. Just imagine if your largest dam was down to 17% full and all your major city supplies at less than 20% and the Mississippi had stopped flowing and was too low to be used by transport ... that is what has happened here.

"Where have the rivers gone." This is where they have gone around here.

The Murrumbidgee River before it enters Tumbullen Storage.


... and taken for irrigating cotton and rice, by canals like the Coleambally Outfall. Knowing that the Government is thinking about buying out many cotton and rice irrigation leases, the banks here are trying to buy up as many water licences as possible ... to cash in and make a profit. The banks here have no moral integrity, at all.


The Murumbidgee immediately below Tumbullen Storage ... she's nothing but a trickle. The Murrumbidge flows further downstream when creeks like the Wakool enter it, but the Murumbidgee is no longer a major arm of the Murray.


Below is the Murray River and part of the Goolwa wetlands near the river's mouth. If we keep robbing inland rivers to irrigate cotton and rice crops, we can expect no more. They can't open the barrier at Goolwa to replenish the Murray River because it will allow salty water to move up stream and harm water supplies and irrigation. The faster the government buys back the irrigation leases (like those for Cuddy Station) the better the continent will be.


The current water level at Goolwa.


An overlooked problem (by some) of robbing the rivers of their flooding flows is that areas like the Bahma Forest and the southern flood plains, no longer provide the essential annual innundation for the Redgum forests. In my journey around the Redgum region, I saw very few Redgum seadlings. "There is no need to raise the bridge, the paddle boats can't make it up this far," said one old bloke yesterday at Piangil.


The Hindmarsh Island bridge on the Murray (below) ... no prizes for spotting the past high water level.


The seven photographs above were taken yesterday.


05-21-2007, 08:34 PM
Thanks Warren. Cuddy Station has no water either now, no crop last year either. Goolwa looks shocking, my sister's boat will be on the mud by now or at least trapped. The Coorong must be almost totally dry now. Did you hear anything about the proposed 'temporary' wier at Wellington? They were going to start if they'd had no improvement by mid May.

Wild Wassa
05-21-2007, 09:29 PM
Geff G'day, around Goolwa and heading North the evident signage said "No to Wran's Weir."

What the locals were saying, I quizzed them a lot about low water levels over the last 5 days, was that if the weir is built, they fear that below the weir to the Goolwa Barrage will be allowed to dry out. They were saying that there is no way the SA Government will open the Barrage to replenish that part of the Coorong. This I don't understand.

The feeling that I gained, is that the weir isn't wanted at all and that there is no need to have a weir if the flow can't fill it ... in the pretense of storing water, just to win votes. It is like Howard's phantom several billion dollar allocation to water resources, it isn't about water, it is only about buying votes.

There isn't water if it doesn't rain. If they seed the snowfields which is a big thing here, somewhere else must miss out on rain. Each time we use a bucket in the shower to catch the runoff and we put it on the garden or use water-savers in the toilet, that is only going to cause other problems around lack of flow.

I'm sick of waiting for it to rain. The drought has moved out of the country and into the major cities. 20-30 years ago, no one in government envisaged this shortage, so there was no forward planning. The SE Australian Conservation Council did envisaged this problem and they were called scare mongering ratbags then, when ever they brought the possibility of future problems to our attention.

The financial experts say that we need 200mm per month (of hyper rain, what ever that is) for two years just to replenish our major city supplies. I haven't heard one scientific expert talk about the problem, only the financial experts ... and they just don't shut up nor do they know what is required other than what it costs financially. It is possible that we have passed a tipping point because falling rain now, is viewed as something that was needed three droughts back.

Shipping water isn't the only answer as most suggest. Putting the vegitation back for long term correction is a priority I feel. This could help in part to create favourable local weather patterns again, but I'm only guessing.

When we were racing at Goolwa over the last few days, I asked Rick Eylward the PRO if he could point out where the water was shallow, in an attempt to avoid running aground. He pointed to the middle of the channel at Goolwa and said, "See where those swans are, out there in the middle? ... they are all standing." When the boats hit the water the swans walked off. We ran aground four times in six races ... over the side I went and pushed us off. Having low water isn't just creating a drinking problem for those who like ice.


05-21-2007, 09:52 PM
Know anything about the Lake Eyre theory? If it's flooded with sea water the resulting salting of the NW winds will change the rainfall pattern downwind. I've heard this theory but have not looked into the science or the engineering side.

05-21-2007, 11:54 PM
Saw something on the ABC last night, some bloke has come up with a windmill that extracts water from the air, I don't know how well it works. I think it's still under R&D.
Our local dam is around 98% but we do live in the wettest part of NSW and we don't have the population demand on water supplies a lot of areas have.
I have my own dam and even though it's small and low it's holding well.

06-01-2007, 02:08 PM
This from 'The Age' 1/6

WATER restrictions are being eased in several towns in Victoria's north-east after heavy rainfall in the past month, boosting local morale.
Euroa and Violet Town are to be eased from stage 4 to stage 3 restrictions today, while Mansfield, Merrijig, Sawmill Settlement and Woods Point were lowered from 4 to 3 on May 16.
Goulburn Valley Water said an increase in flow in the Delatite River and Seven Creeks, which feed the towns, was responsible for the change. About 100 millimetres fell across most towns in the north-east in May, with Mount Buller the top at 247 millimetres.
But despite the deluge across much of the state in recent weeks, some towns are being elevated to higher restrictions because water storages are still critically low.
Shepparton, Seymour, Alexandra and Eildon are today raised to stage 3 from stage 2, while Kerang, Mildura and Swan Hill will be on stage 3 from Monday.
The Wimmera town of Natimuk, where the previously dry creek is filling the lake for the first time in four years, is one place that is to continue on the toughest restrictions for the foreseeable future.
Mansfield grass seed farmer Brad Parks has declared the drought over on his property after more than 100 millimetres fell in the past five weeks, filling about half of his 180 dams.
Mr Parks said farmers in the district were ecstatic about the wet conditions, and providing there was consistent rain in coming months, were confident about good crops and healthy livestock.
"I've never seen so many smiles on people's faces as I have in the last two weeks. It's terrific. It's taken the burden off everyone's shoulders."
Allen Gale, director of technical services for Goulburn Valley Water, said the water turnaround in the Mansfield and Euroa areas was positive. But he said other towns would not have their restrictions eased because there was still little run-off from the Murray and Goulburn rivers system.
"We need a heck of a lot more rain to build up the bank so we can get through the dry summer months," he said.
Alexi Conboy, of Lake Natimuk, said people gathered at the local caravan park on Wednesday night to watch the Natimuk Creek flow for the first time in years.
"It was like Grand Central Station last night," Mr Conboy said. "People thought it would never run again. It's amazing, really good. If we get another inch or two the lake will be full."
But Andrew Rose, of Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water, said towns like Natimuk would not have their stage 4 restrictions lifted because overall water storages in the drought-ravaged area were at 4.6 per cent.
"We've clawed our way up from 3.4 per cent three or four weeks ago, but we really have a long, long, way to come back."

So, things are looking up?
Anyone in Oz been jumping in puddles?

martin schulz
06-01-2007, 02:48 PM
Much worse with the Aral Sea



This looks like a major catastrophe.

The Bigfella
06-01-2007, 06:59 PM

There were photos in The Australian this week of a major Himalayan Glacier that has disappeared in the last 40 years too. Can't find a link to it though.

06-28-2007, 06:40 PM
The rivers are coming back , earlier this month it was NSW now it's Vic's turn.
There are floods in the east.

Hopefully some of this will fall in catchment areas
That and I hope the rain doesn't bring the tragedy it brought in NSW.
Droughts and flooding rains and all that..........:(

06-28-2007, 11:51 PM
Our local large dam (Clarrie Hall Dam) is down to 91%...wow! that's a lot you might say. According to the local council we could be in trouble as we didn't get a wet season this year and if we miss out next year we are apparently up the proverbial creek without a whatsit. They have implemented water restrictions which ban local water carriers from selling water across the border to the Gold Coast.
Now the Gold Coast and brisbane area are on level 5 (I think) water restrictions...4 minute showers and no watering lawns or gardens.
It is staggering the amount of water a conventional household can use! I have a 1,000 gallon water tank and a dam that holds maybe 7-8, 000 gallon and I never empty either of them.
How about Gibbsland and Golburn eh, one minute they are gasping, next drowning.

06-29-2007, 02:07 AM
A weather thread with no Limeys/Poms? Can't be right.

Well, I can tell you all in Oz and the US where all the rain has gone - it's falling on our bonces here in the UK. This from the Met Office this morning:

Friday 29 June EARLY WARNING The Met. Office is forecasting further spells of rain over the next few days. Heavy rain at the weekend is expected to exacerbate the flooding problems over England and Wales. Rainfall amounts of 15 to 25mm are expected quite widely with a risk that totals could reach 50mm. Given that the ground is saturated following recent events there is potential for further disruption Further updates will appear here.
Friday 29 June WEATHER WARNING Heavy rain will affect Wales this morning. Higher ground will see the worst of it with upto 20mm of rain. Driving conditions will be dangerous and there is the risk of localised flooding. Valid until 0600BST.

Friday 29 June SEVERE FLOOD WARNING There are 5 severe flood warnings in force in the United KingdomFriday 29 June FLOOD WARNING There are 41 flood warnings currently in force in the United Kingdom: Anglian (8) Midlands (6) Northeast (26) Wales (1) Further updates will appear here.

We have towns and villages flooded, people being rescued by helicopter, I think 5 flood related deaths at the last count. Fields of wheat and barley look like rice paddies.

Also take a look at http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6239828.stm for pics and videos.

This after a lovely warm dry April, May and June have been wet and cold. I was asked the other day what had happened to the hottest, driest, prolonged drought summer the global warmers had predicted for us. Don't know, but it hasn't arrived yet.

06-29-2007, 04:54 AM
Got ya Wellies Clencher?

06-29-2007, 06:07 AM
Yep, got wellies, got waders, thinking of getting a new cozzie, but perhaps not, am a bit old, grey and wrinkled for cozzies, could frighten somebody.

06-29-2007, 06:12 AM
Thinking of building one of these as well......


martin schulz
06-29-2007, 12:37 PM
Thinking of building one of these as well......


Hopefully the hull will then not be a coulisse ;)

06-29-2007, 12:50 PM
fyi yanks, Cossie (bathing costume) = Speedo

06-29-2007, 11:54 PM
Speedo? Ah, Budgie Smugglers :D

10-20-2007, 07:12 PM
Apologies for the massive C&P
from 'THE AGE' 21/10/2007

Water dilemma could 'sink' Government

DUE to the drought, the State Government has no choice but to urge households to limit their water use. But by doing so, it risks financial disaster after committing almost $5 billion to new water infrastructure.
The Government's conundrum has been exposed during an Essential Services Commission inquiry into water pricing.

An issues paper released by the commission on Friday shows Melbourne's water companies are pushing for a new "fourth tier" price that would mean big water consumers would pay even more per litre.
But the commission suggests that such a disincentive to use water might not be a smart idea in light of the planned desalination plant and extensive new network of pipelines
Given the large-scale supply augmentation projects planned for metropolitan Melbourne, the appropriateness of such a strong disincentive to use water may be questioned," the discussion paper says. In June, the Victorian Government announced a $4.9 billion water plan, including $3.1 billion for a desalination plant near Wonthaggi, which will be built through a public-private partnership.
The cost of the plant will be repaid to investors through revenue from household and industry water bills. The less water consumed, the lower the revenue pool.

Other water pricing options raised in the paper include:
■"Water plans" similar to phone company deals, where a household could be on a $15 plan or a $30 plan dependent on their usage.
■"Scarcity pricing" where pricing would be linked to the level of water in Melbourne's reservoirs, so prices would jump as water levels fell.
■ Combining water and sewerage charges into one fee.
In a separate review of the structure of Melbourne's water industry, Melbourne Water has recommended one giant water retailer be formed to replace the three separate companies that control the city's water.
Melbourne Water's submission to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission's review of the water industry says the merger would result in big cost savings.
It says such a merger would lead to efficiency gains in the order of $35 million to $45 million, but does not spell out any potential job losses.
Controversially, the submission also suggests a new Melbourne water retail giant could expand to include regional water retailers.
"In the longer term, Melbourne Water believes there could be merit in a broader integration of the systems and operations of retail water businesses, incorporating some of the regional water businesses connecting to the expanding grid," it says.
The move could upset regional Victorians already angered by government plans to transfer water from the state's north to Melbourne.
Nationals leader Peter Ryan said any such takeover would be disastrous.
"This would be the realisation of our worst nightmare; it is precisely why we have opposed the development of the north-south pipe," Mr Ryan said.
"Melbourne Water not only wants access to the rural water systems, it then wants to take over unfettered control."
Water pricing options

■ Increasing cost of water for big users questioned after Government announced large and expensive water projects.
■ "Water plans" similar to plans offered by phone companies, in which a household could be on a $15 plan or a $30 plan dependent upon water use.
■ "Scarcity pricing" in which pricing would be linked to the amount of water in Melbourne's storages.
■ Combining water and sewerage charges into a single charge

10-20-2007, 07:19 PM
So, they're talking about 'one big water company'.
Didn't they used to have that?

Wild Wassa
10-20-2007, 07:56 PM
Ian you will hopefully find this interesting.

The Emirates Wolgan Valley resort was originally proposed for the head of the Gross River, that is no joke. I had no idea until recently that the Emirates Resort had been 'moved-on' to the Wolgan. Public dissent and an EIS felt that the impact on the Gross and the catchment would be too great ... so the Wolgan was an after thought for the Emirates so locals at Lithgow told me recently.

These are photos of my last trip to the Wolgan, the photos were taken at the end of last month.

Do you remember how I said, "next the resort would demand a better road and the Wolgan and the Colo Wilderness would be totally at the mercy then from even more impact" ... from the greater Wally World?


Do you remember how the Emirates were to get their water? ... they were going to build a dam on resort land and divert water from the Wolgan River to service the resort, fill the dam and to top up the 13 swimming pools. Pipes needed to divert the Wolgan.


The next two photos are of the Wolgan near the confluence of the Little Capartee River and several k's upstream near the resort. In all the years I've been visiting the Wolgan Valley, this is the standard water flow that I've seen in the Wolgan ... just a few inches deep.



The impact on the Colo River will not be good. Ian, the trip you hoped to possibly do one day on the Colo ... might be a just dry river bed walk. The only other real feeder for the Colo is the Capartee River (the Little Capartee is just a trickle) but the Capartee is needed for cattle and the farms in the Capartee Valley and at the small town of Glen Davis.

If the impact on the Gross River and Sydney's water catchment was viewed as being too great for the Gross, what's the impact on the Wolgan and then on the Colo is this resort going to have? There is more water in the Gross than in the Wolgan.

When are we going to learn?


10-20-2007, 10:04 PM
I don't envy you all with your water shortages. North Georgia in the US is starting to get to this point. There's a severe drought. Lake Lanier which supplies Atlanta's water is getting to historic lows. They are forecasting 90 to 120 days of water left. There are plenty of news stories about this. Just google "Lake Lanier".

The Bigfella
10-23-2007, 05:15 AM
When are we going to learn?

That doesn't look good.

I've probably said this before .... the first time I met (former Premier) Carr, back in the mid-90's, I asked him what he wanted to be remembered for after he left politics?

"Saving the rivers"

Yeah right!


I was pissed off that some work I did in a related field didn't get up - to me it was a no-brainer ..... but hey?

Keith Wilson
10-23-2007, 08:41 AM
Man, that sounds bad for you folks in Australia. I think all the water came north; rainfall here this year is more than seven inches above average, most of that since August. The sun appeared for the first time in weeks yesterday. I'd send you some if I could.

10-23-2007, 09:45 AM
been record dry in SoCal, hence all the fires.